Climate change really is the elephant in the room as politicians talk about building flood defences and drain repairs before moving onto defending corporate pressure for more unsustainable building on flood plains.
In the UK we need to thinking about cutting CO2 emissions by 90% over the next thirty years, yet the Labour government is pressing ahead with road widening and airport expansion and putting only pitiful amounts of money into renewable energy development.
Basic rational solutions like bringing buses and trains back into public control and expanding cheap, convenient and affordable public transport to reduce car use are not even discussed. Even more crazy are the budget cuts faced this year by the Environment Agency, even as people struggle to deal with the aftermath of the floods, it has been revealed that England’s flood defence programme is facing funding cuts that could last until 2011!
Oxford Respect calls for:
*Government aid to support communities affected by flooding, especially low income families who may not have full insurance cover.
*Investment in safe affordable council housing that meets the highest standards of energy efficiency and built in sustainable locations.
*A return to public control of rail and bus services.
*Significant and sustained investment in development of renewable energy sources for implementation both in UK and in developing world, with free transfer for renewable energy technology.
*End to all subsidies for nuclear power.
*Heavy fines for companies that pollute the environment to make it more cost-effective for them to implement safeguards against pollution incidents.
*Adequate investment in flood defence, drain and sewerage systems.
Ultimately to safeguard our environment, we need to build a society based on human need, not the need for profit.